Ask Emily: How Do I Tell a New Partner About My Fantasies?

woman laying on bed with handcuffs
Dear Emily, 

I’ve recently started dating someone new and things are going really well. However, I haven’t yet told her that I have some pretty specific fantasies. I love BDSM, kink, roleplay, and tantric massage. I really like this girl and want to try bringing her into this world, but I don’t want to totally scare her off by revealing some of my fantasies. At the very least, I think she should know this side of me. Any tips?

Sage, 32

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Dear Sage, 

When it comes to sex, we all have fantasies… and sometimes these fantasies are pretty detailed. That’s why sharing them out loud with a partner can feel ultra-vulnerable. That goes double when it’s a new partner and you’re still testing the waters together. (You can’t always whip out the whips and chains on the first date…)

Naturally, you might ask yourself: do I want to be this vulnerable? With a relatively new person? If the answer is “yes,” congratulations! You’re on your way to some very cool, very sexy, and very REAL intimacy. It’s normal to feel apprehensive, though, so let’s dive into how to talk about fantasies in a way that feels exciting. With the right prep, you can open up to this person, and let them in on your inner, erotic world. 

Remind yourself that fantasies are normal.

I get SO many people asking if their fantasies are normal, and the answer is an overwhelming yes! That said, so many of us have internalized shame around sexual fantasies, so before talking to your partner, do some reflection with yourself. A great way to know how to talk about fantasies for the first time is having that convo with yourself. Underneath every fantasy is a sense of curiosity: a healthy, human emotion. When you zoom out and look at your fantasy, what are you curious about? A power dynamic, a certain setting, a specific sexual act? Getting a bit more granular with your fantasies will help you to explain these desires to your partner with a bit more context.

Remember: having fantasies doesn’t mean you need to carry them out with your partner right away. But, by sharing them out loud, you’re extending an invitation to your partner to get closer, understand parts of your psychology, and most importantly… have fun.

Set an intention for the conversation.

There’s a reason why I say communication is a lubrication. Once you and your partner have emotionally connected, it makes it way easier to dive into the sex stuff. One tip I love is to set an intention prior to the conversation itself. Do you want to feel more emotionally intimate? Do you want to actually explore this fantasy, and try enacting it together? Once you’re clear about your “ask,” it’ll be much easier for you, and your partner, to collaborate on the next steps.

To ease into the topic, try sharing something about your last sex sesh that you really enjoyed. “I loved it when we had sex in the kitchen,” for example. This will help prime the pump for a positive sex talk, and can lead to a question: “What’s your favorite thing we’ve been doing?” Curiosity is a natural way to steer the conversation, especially if neither of you has talked about your sex life before. 

My dream is for people to talk about sex as casually as they talk about the weather because doing so makes it easier for us all to have hotter sex on a regular basis. 

Prep your “elevator pitch.”

Once you’re settled in, express to your partner that you’ve got a fantasy you’d like to share, and in doing so, you are being vulnerable. Honesty and vulnerability are hot AF! And remember: it’s okay to not have all the answers beforehand! That’s why you’re bringing it up, to give them a taste of what arouses you, and to possibly explore it together. 

One of the best ways to externalize your fantasy is to think of it as an elevator pitch, giving the who, what, when, where, and how:

  1. Who: When it comes to your fantasy, who is involved? Is it just you and your partner, or are you interested in including more people? 
  2. What: What exactly is your fantasy? Does it have a name and can you explain it succinctly and thoroughly? What about it is it that turns you on?
  3. When: When did you start finding this fantasy arousing? When are you looking to try it out?
  4. Where: Where do you envision yourself doing this fantasy? For example: Outdoors? At a hotel? Do you want to convert your living room into a sex dungeon? 
  5. How: The last component is bringing up how you want to facilitate this fantasy…  Would you like to do it together? Use it for dirty talk fodder? Or are you simply sharing it, to feel closer and show off your kinky side?

Here’s a sample script, to help you see how this might go: 

Hey babe, I know we’re still new, but I’ll be honest…I’ve been totally loving our sex. In fact, I was wondering if I could share this hot fantasy I’ve been thinking about lately: I think the idea of having sex and risking getting caught is super arousing. Maybe we could try having sex outside somewhere? What do you think? If you like, we can talk about a possible spot, to see if it’s equally intriguing to you as it is to me.

Start with the essentials.

As you probably know, there are sooo many different ways to experiment with kink. One of the easiest ways to bring a new partner into this world is with toys. While many of us are accustomed to bringing toys into partnered sex, this definitely isn’t true for everyone. If you’re not sure of your partner’s interest level with kink, a toy could be a great way to get started.

The Magic Wand is one of my go-to’s for partnered play because it’s just so dang powerful. Regardless of how “kinky” your partner is, you’ll both be grateful to have one of these are on your nightstands.  Plus, watching your partner pleasure themselves with a very good sex toy can be incredibly erotic. (Voyeurism anyone?)  Small steps like this one help set the stage for more kink later down the line.

Try the Yes, No, Maybe List.

Now for the cold splash of water: your partner might not be interested in this fantasy, and that’s okay! The great thing about fantasies is that they are add-ons to your sex life, and usually not necessities. Even if you do play out this fantasy and it’s not as hot as you expected, don’t worry. You have plenty of options to explore!

Try taking the Yes, No, Maybe List as a way to expand your sexual menu together. The quiz will give you a clearer idea of what you both find intriguing, and hopefully inspire you to create some sexy shared memories. 

I’ll leave you with this: remember that talking about your fantasies doesn’t have to be a one-time conversation. One day you bring up exhibitionism, on another, you might talk about fun new toys to buy. This is a journey that you and your partner can do together, and a way to conduct some me-search on what turns you on. Happy exploring!